Amidst the flurry of refurbishment activities at the Port Harcourt refinery, Ibrahim Onoja, the Managing Director, disclosed that significant strides have been made, with over 75% of the project already completed.
Onoja’s revelation, based on a report compiled by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), sheds light on the progress achieved at the refinery.
“Our dedicated workforce operating round the clock has propelled us to accomplish over 75% of this monumental task,” stated Onoja. “Procurement stands at over 98% and the majority of the equipment has been successfully delivered.”
Highlighting the technological upgrades, Onoja emphasized the importance of modernizing the refinery despite its 53-year history.
“While the refinery’s core metallic structure remains unchanged, upgrades have been crucial. Instruments and controls, essential rotating equipment like pumps and compressors, as well as brand-new electrical systems, have undergone significant enhancements,” he explained.
The rehabilitation, initiated in April 2021, involves a team of 3000 workers who have collectively amassed 8.3 million man-hours with no recorded injuries, signifying a dedication to safety amidst the project’s ambitious scope.
Responding to queries about meeting the December 2023 target, Onoja expressed confidence in the refinery’s readiness.
“We’re on track to commence operations imminently, aiming to produce various petroleum products including petrol, liquefied petroleum gas, kerosene, and diesel,” he affirmed.
This optimism aligns with the recent statement made by Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer at NNPCL, confirming plans to kickstart operations at the Port Harcourt refinery by the end of December this year.
Furthermore, Kyari outlined a strategy, indicating the imminent commencement of the Warri refinery in early 2024, followed by the Kaduna refinery’s projected operation by year-end.
These initiatives, including the ongoing refinery rehabilitation and the forthcoming Dangote refinery, converge towards Nigeria’s vision to become a net exporter of petroleum products by 2024.
The extensive rehabilitation efforts at the Port Harcourt refinery stand as a step in revamping Nigeria’s petroleum industry, offering hope for increased domestic production and reduced reliance on imports in the near future.